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Here to Eternity

by Cody

Chapter XI

Author’s Note: Greetings everyone! Just a short note for this chapter: in the opening I have Kuwabara describe the scene of Spirit World as though he was seeing it for the first time. I do not know if in the early Yu-Yu Hakusho episodes Kuwabara went to Spirit World with Yusuke or not. So if he did then please bear with my writing. Other than that, I had a lot of fun writing this chapter, especially its ending.

Stand inside the temple,
as the Book of Thel is opening.
The priestess stands before you,
offering her hand out rising-

“The Book of Thel”-Bruce Dickinson

“So this is Spirit World!” said Kuwabara. “It looks as though the sun just set—that is—if the sun actually shines here to begin with. This place almost reminds me of the old fairy tales where two kids are walking through an old forest before they finally come across an old house that’s haunted. Except in this case it’s not an old house but an old temple that looks like an overgrown Shinto or Pure Land Buddhist temple. And that river…that must be the river Styx! I always thought that the river Styx was a river in Hell since that’s where the ‘70s rock band Styx supposedly took their name from.

I just hope that we’re not here too long since Kaito was gracious enough to watch Kayko again for us.”

“So Koenma…what do we do now?” began Yusuke.

“Hmm…” the Prince of Spirit World placed his chin between his thumb and first finger. “We need to enter the temple through the least secured location.”

“And that is?” replied Hiei.

“That’d be the temple entrance on the river Styx. We’d probably only encounter a few ogres.”

“Hey, wait a minute!” responded Kuwabara. “I thought you said we could enter your father’s temple without any problems?”

“You’ve misunderstood me, Kuwabara. It’d be impossible to enter the temple without facing some resistance. My father has been in existence longer than me. Every place in the temple I know, he probably knows even better. But—as a good ruler—Father knows where most of his defenders should be. That means our goal’s to enter the temple with the least amount of resistance.”

With Koenma as their guide, he led Yusuke’s party to the banks of the river Styx.

“So now what, Koenma?” asked Yusuke; “are we going to swim across?”

“No, be patient Yusuke; the ferryman’ll come shortly.”

“The ferryman?” asked Kurama.

“Well, ferrywoman to be exact. I still have one more person loyal to me in Spirit World, and she knows to meet us here.”

“And who’s this person?” replied Kuwabara.

“Yani, one of my assistants. She’s a grim reaper like Botan.”

Within minutes after Koenma finished his sentence, Yusuke and his party noticed a small boat rowing towards them. When the boat finally beached against the shore a tall, but pale, woman stepped onto the shore. She had dark eyes and hair, and she turned to Koenma to bow in veneration.

“I apologize if I’m late, Lord Koenma.”

“No, Yani, you’re right on time.”

Yani then turned to Yusuke and his party and gestured the same to them. “I’m Yani, pleased to meet you. Please come on board. I’ll take you to the location Lord Koenma desires.”

Koenma directed his assistant to the temple entrance off the banks of the river, and after beaching the boat Koenma presented Yani with one final order.

“Yani, after we leave you must immediately fly to Human World and seek refuge in the temple of the psychic Genkai, and you can’t return to Spirit World until we do, because only then will you know it to be safe. If you return under any other circumstances your life’ll be in great danger.”

Yani nodded. “I understand Lord Koenma.” And to the rest of the party she added, “Good luck to all of you!” before mounting her ore to fly into Living World.

After Yani departed, Yusuke and his companions took a moment to observe the old iron door at the base of the temple.

“So this is it, huh?” began Yusuke.

“Yeah Yusuke, this is it,” replied Koenma.

Yusuke pounded his right fist into his left palm. “All right then. Lets get this over with so we can go home,” and turning to the rest of his party he added, “all of us.”

Kuwabara, Kurama, and Hiei nodded unanimously.

Yusuke directed the party to the iron door, but before he opened it he looked at his party one last time, as though to give them final instructions. “Everyone, get ready. We don’t know what’s waiting for us on the other side.”

The party nodded, and Koenma kept a safe distance behind the party, because, as he told Yusuke before, he’s a ruler not a fighter.

Yusuke forcefully pushed the iron doors opened and clenched his fists, while he waited for the first attack.

Kurama displayed a rose that he intended to turn into a ‘rose whip’ to cut the very first opponent to shreds. Hiei placed one hand on his sword’s sheath and the other on the butt of his katana. And Kuwabara already displayed his incredible spirit sword.

But what awaited them on the other side surprised them all…nothing. Nothing leapt from King Yama’s temple to attack them. All the party saw was a dimly lit hallway that reminded Yusuke of the basement of Sarayashiki Junior High where he hid out to skip classes.

“This is odd,” said Koenma. “Father’s up to something.”

“Hmph!” responded Yusuke, while he unclenched his fists. He turned to his companions and replied, “Lets go.”

“Be careful everyone,” added Koenma.

The basement of King Yama’s temple was cold and damp. “Wonder if there’s any rats down here?” said Yusuke. “How weird it’d be to come to Spirit World—the place of the dead—and catch the plague and die.”

“Hold it everyone!” declared Kuwabara. “Something’s here! I don’t know what it is, but I can sense its spirit.”

Kurama observed the darkness of Spirit World’s basement in an attempt to catch a glimpse of something Kuwabara had sensed. He could not find what Kuwabara had felt, but he sensed the spirit of somebody else in the room too; and he boldly declared, “Show yourself!”

But whatever it was, it refused to follow Kurama’s request.

Kuwabara chuckled. “I bet it’s pissing in its pants. I didn’t sense it to be all that strong anyway.” “I wouldn’t be so quick to judge, Kuwabara…Huh?” Koenma suddenly felt as though he had been lifted off the ground. “What the hell’s going on?!”

“Koenma!” shouted Yusuke, who attempted to reach the Prince of Spirit World, only to be struck down by what felt like a ton of lead.

Kuwabara, Kurama, and Hiei could sense Koenma’s spirit, but could not see exactly what was pulling him away. Koenma continued to struggle until something—which sounded to Yusuke, Kuwabara, Kurama, and Hiei as an electric shock—silenced him. Yusuke and his companions could still sense Koenma’s spirit, so they knew he was not dead, but they assumed that since he was no longer struggling he had become unconscious.

Once the Prince of Spirit World was silent a row of torches brightened the room. Yusuke and his companions were trapped inside a cage that contained their power, and standing before them was the Spirit Defense Force. All of them appeared to be counted for, except Captain Otake.

“What did you do with Koenma?” demanded Yusuke.

His answer came from the SDF member with the mop haircut. Yusuke had never liked this particular SDF member ever since his first encounter with him in Demon’s Door Cave. The mop-haired SDF member chuckled. “His Majesty, King Yama, requested the Prince to the throne room. He has a suitable punishment in mind for him, kind of like what we have in mind for you.”

“And what’s that?”

“The death of all of you!”

Yusuke began to flare up a combination of demon and spirit energy equal to that of a powerful ‘S-class’ demon. Some of the SDF members started to worry at how much power Yusuke created, but not the mop-haired member. “He’ll never be able to break through that cage no matter how much power he creates.”

“And how do you plan on killing us? Do you plan to attack us one-by-one?”

The mop-haired member chuckled. “No, we thought that we’d just kill you all at once.”

Yusuke smiled, and his companions, who had fought along side him long enough, understood the gesture to mean that Yusuke had a plan.

“That sounds good, but a quick request if I may?”

“What’s that?”

Yusuke chuckled, and as quick as one could blink he had forced himself through the cage.

The SDF gasped. “That’s impossible! How could he escape that cage?!”

The mop-haired member froze as Yusuke let out a primal roar and impaled his fist through the SDF member’s stomach, similar to what Yusuke and his team had watched Toguro do to the team of giants in the Dark Tournament.

The SDF members became terrified as they watched blood pour from their fallen member’s mouth, while Yusuke removed his blood-soaked fist from what was at one time the SDF member’s vital organ. The SDF member let out one final gasp for air before collapsing to the ground dead in a puddle of blood.

The five remaining SDF members shook like leaves on trees, while sweat droplets slowly rolled against their cheeks. Yusuke sensed their fear and took the opportunity to show them his blood-covered hand. He smiled wickedly at each of them. “And that’s what happens when you mess with my wife, unborn child, or just generally piss me off. So, who’s next to fuck with me?”

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